Black and Tan

Canary Architecture

There’s just something about black and tan. Yes, of course it makes for a lovely drink, but it also has the ability to make your home feel warm and sophisticated. Whether you’re relying on rich leather or warm wood accents, this palette offers touches of masculinity that lend themselves well to the perfect unisex space.

Brooke Holm

Worried that too much of the two hues could feel heavy and overbearing? Add plenty of white to the equation for a more modern take. White walls can not only make a room feel much larger than it is, they can also provide the perfect background for your favorite photos and art pieces.

Jeff Herr

You can also approach the black and tan look in a more subtle way as well, with small doses of both colors rather than a deluge. Break up the area with a few lightweight pieces – think metals – and bring in a few lusciously green plants to take the edge off.

55 Kvadrat

Like I mentioned before, black and tan can feel a bit masculine at times. Combat the tendency by bringing in furniture with softer edges and other pieces with finer lines. Plenty of cozy textiles will make the space feel welcoming and lived in while giving you just the right vibe.

Tan and Black Rugs
For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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A Dining Room Rug And Food. Can It Be Done?

After we bought our new home, my husband and I debated about the dining room. To have or not to have. I think it’s a discussion many people have now days. China and fancy dinner parties are not part of our everyday lifestyle. In fact, the vintage china my mother gifted to me 14 years ago is still in the original gift wrap. Shhhhh, please don’t tell her. But in this home we needed a better place to sit and enjoy dinner as a family.

Photo by Amber Interiors via MyDomaine

The formal dining room in our old home was the kids playroom, but now that the children are a bit older, I don’t feel the need to hover over them like a nervous nelly. Discussions were had. A decision was made. The toys would move to the basement, and the formal dining room makeover was a go. Bring on the fancy…let’s go shopping!

Photo by Ball and Claw Vintage via Design Sponge

If you read my post about how the foundation of any room design should start with a rug, I’m sure you can guess what I started to shop for first. But then a little voice in my head started nagging at me. Kyla, you’re investing money into a rug your kids will be eating spaghetti and chocolate over…was that really the smartest idea? I mean, they aren’t savages, but they are 3 and 6…ok, yes, yes, they’re savages. They spill and drop crumbs all the time. And who am I kidding, I’m a savage too. I spill all the time.

Photo by DesignLoveFest via Design Milk

As a busy family, we needed a rug that would work with us, not against us. White shag was definitely a hard no. But by adding a busy pattern and a darker color, I felt more confident that my children would not destroy it in two point five seconds. Honestly, it was one of those unicorns are real moments. Here are my 5 top tips for buying a rug for your dining room:

  1. Find a rug with a busier pattern. Come Thanksgiving, you’re not crying over spilled gravy.

  2. Go for a darker color to hide stains.

  3. Be sure the rug is large enough. You want the entire table and chairs set to sit on the rug. Always err on the side of large. Too small of a rug and it looks awkward.

  4. Spills will happen so steer away from shag and go with a flat weave or low pile rug.

  5. Search for rugs that are easy clean/stain resistant. 

Photo via La Dolce Vita

Here are a few rugs that I think would be genius for any formal dining room.


1/ Courtistan – Rainforest

2/ Karastan – Euphoria

3/ Loloi Rugs – Giselle

4/ Dalyn – Modern Greys

5/ Jaipur Rugs – Tabor

6/ Rugs America – Talbot

For more inspiration from Kyla, follow along with her at House Of Hipsters!

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The Revival of Rattan

Petite Passport
Petite Passport

If you’re like me, rattan reminds you of two things: grandma’s house and patio furniture. The good news is that those stereotypes appear to be changing rapidly. Rattan is experiencing a resurgence of sorts, with plenty of modern options and fresh shapes that will breathe new life into the traditional material.

Urban Outfitters1

If you have boho tendencies rattan easily fits into your wheelhouse. A lovely daybed that’s built to last will take advantage of two trends at once (rattan! daybed!) and transition with you as your tastes change and evolve over the years.


One of the best parts of modern rattan is that it’s no longer only brown in color. The geometric pattern and black and white palette in a chair like this screams versatile, casual, and mid-century. Lots of rattan is weatherproof so you can haul it outside to enjoy summer weather and back in again once it cools down.

Urban Outfitters

I’ve never lived in a space that would accommodate a room divider, but if I did I’d jump on one in an instant. The key to a great one is just enough opacity to visually separate the areas, and just enough openness to make everything feel airy. Rattan is clearly a great fit on both counts.

Serena & Lily

Then there are some rattan pieces that need no changes whatsoever, like this traditional Scandinavian-inspired hanging chair. Pieces like this are heavy-duty, sturdy, and meant to take a beating – the kind your grandkids will one day fight over.

Natural Fiber Rugs

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Laundry Room Refresh

Piles of clothes on the floor, half-full bottles of detergent cluttering up the shelves, and bad lighting: sound familiar? The laundry room is one of the hardest working spaces in the home, but it’s also often one of the most neglected. Thankfully, with a few simple tweaks, you can refresh your laundry space, creating a corner of your home that actually makes you (sort of) look forward to chore time. Ready? Let’s get organized and make this hardworking space more beautiful!

Ashley Capp Photography

Begin your laundry room refresh by assessing your current space, and deciding on a budget for this project, remembering that you can always start small and add more features over time. Perhaps this month you can commit to picking up a pretty art print or a new rug; next month a fresh light fixture and some shelving. Then, even if new machines and gorgeous wall tile have to wait, you can fully enjoy your space in the meantime. In the space shown above, a framed swan print, potted succulent, and small jar of clothespins makes this feel much more like a real room than a utilitarian closet. Lovely, right?

A Beautiful Mess

Creativity can go a long way when it comes to refreshing a small space, and the laundry room above, from Elsie of A Beautiful Mess, is a perfect example. Elsie used electrical tape to create fun patterns on the fronts of her washer and dryer, organized supplies in simple metal baskets, hung a typography print on the wall, and a pegboard for corralling tools on the wall. Organized, stylish, and on a budget? Yes, please.


If space is very tight, using the wall is a brilliant move, so don’t let any sliver of space go to waste! If there’s no room for a pegboard, consider other forms of wall-mounted storage, like the shelving and hooks shown above. Even so, there’s no need to forego style: a slim acrylic stool makes an elegant perch for towels fresh out of the dryer, and framed artwork on the wall sets the tone.

House & Home

Sometimes even one new element can make a big impact, like a chic laundry basket, or a pretty new rug on the floor, so don’t be afraid to start small. Stash your supplies out of sight in bins, put up a cork board for inspiration (and to hang that stain removal chart you always wish you had on hand), or place a tray for stacking towels atop your washer. And once your laundry room is clean and refreshed, you’ll be more motivated to keep the space looking beautiful … so it’s a win-win!

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Origins Sheridan Tempest rug in silver gray; Loloi Rugs Isle rug in mist and aqua; Rugs America Asteria rug in lavender; Safavieh Courtyard rug in navy and beige.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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